The Ultimate Buffalo Holiday Gift Guide

By Shira Jacobson

Published on | Last Updated

The holidays are just around the corner, and it feels like every year we promise ourselves we’re going to stay ahead of them and then suddenly they’re ahead of us. Gift shopping is hard. Everyone has different tastes. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered this year. Buffalo’s shopping scene is lively and eclectic. There’s something for everyone out there, and we’re here to help you find it. This is the ultimate Buffalo holiday gift guide.

Photo courtesy of Brian Hayden

For The Bookworm

Whether the reader in your life loves a good comic, fantasy series, or nonfiction memoir, Buffalo has it all. Browse for books at Rust Belt Books, The Bookworm, Fitz Books, and Zawadi Books, many of which have vast used sections where you might stumble upon a rare edition. If your bookworm is more politically inclined, check out Burning Books and explore their carefully curated selection of books that focus on social issues. Give the gift of a book store gift card from Talking Leaves or Dog Ears Café & Book Store, which are both connected to cafes and the perfect place for a book-lover to hang out. If you’re gift searching for a comic book aficionado, Gutter Pop Comics or Queen City Book Store have it all!

And for the Buffalo completionist, author Brian Hayden and photographer Jesse Pitzler have released “111 Places in Buffalo That You Must Not Miss”, new in 2023. The culmination of more than two years of work and research, the new book showcases 111 of the most extraordinary, unusual, off-the-beaten-path and historic spots across Western New York. Pick it up for someone who loves Buffalo or for someone exploring Buffalo for the first time! Find the book at Talking Leaves, Buffalo ShopCraft, Vidler’s 5 & 10, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House museum store, and local Barnes & Noble bookstores. Call stores for availability.

Photo courtesy of Nigh Road

For the Decorator

Are you gift shopping for someone whose house looks like it came right out of Pinterest? We all have someone in our life who has a spot for everything in their home and decorates every room to a T. If you’re looking to pick something out for the decorator in your life, stores like Ro Homeshop, ROOM, Elle James Décor, Spruce in Snyder and Nigh Road in Hamburg offer everything from home décor to furnishings. If your decorator likes getting their hands dirty, you can even buy them a class at The Foundry where they can learn woodworking skills and make a coffee table or welding skills to create their own metal shelves.

Photo courtesy of Aurora Brew Works

For the Wine, Whiskey, or Bourbon Connoisseur (beer lovers, too!)

Shopping for someone with a taste for adult drinks? Buffalo is the perfect place to find gifts for those in your life who appreciate a good drink. Try stopping by one of our many breweries or distilleries to stock up on glassware, merchandise, or a locally crafted bottle of something tasty. If you simply can’t choose one place, Aurora Brew Works in East Aurora sells the perfect Buffalo 12 Beer Pack with a variety of Bills-themed beers from local breweries. Pick out the perfect bottle of wine for your sommelier-in-the-making from Paradise Wine or Winkler & Samuels. If you’re looking to gift a night out, the Little Club, Waxlight Bar a Vin, or Lucky Day Whiskey will never fail to lift someone’s spirits (pun intended). And if you want to win the absolute best gift award? Plan a trip for your whiskey-lover and get them tickets to the Whiskey Riot Festival in February, where they can try over 200 whiskies, taste creative whiskey cocktails, meet master distillers, and more.

For the Music Lover

Buffalo is a home for many musicians, and whether you’re gift shopping for one of them or for someone who just really enjoys listening to music, we have plenty of spots to find the perfect gift for them. For the vinyl lover, Revolver Records and Black Dots offer a great selection of records, with expert staff to guide you and show you their rare offerings. Allentown Music and Music City will provide all of the items and accessories you might need for the current and future musicians in your life. If you’re looking to go all out, Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo is one of the most acoustically perfect halls in the world – a ticket to a concert here would certainly be unforgettable. And if you’re in a pinch, you can make the most of your time in Buffalo and take your music lover out to one of our many bars and clubs that showcase live music every week.

Photo courtesy of Oxford Pennant

For the Proud Native

This person in your life knows everything there is to know about Buffalo and nothing brings them joy like spreading the Buffalove. Check out the Planet Buffalo online store by local designer Michael Morgulis – this is where you’ll find original and iconic Buffalo gifts. The proud native in your life would appreciate anything from ShopCraft, where their unique items are locally made in Buffalo and make the perfect gifts. For more Buffalo gear, check out Sunshine & Bluebirds, the BFLO Store, and the Totally Buffalo Store. A pennant or banner from local Oxford Pennant would be a perfect gift for your Buffalo-lover, and you can even get one custom-made. And chances are, like most Buffalo-lovers, your proud native is a Bills fan! You can’t go wrong with getting them more Bills gear from the Bills Store or, better yet, hit up My Cuzin Vintage to score them some rare vintage Bills clothing so that they can tailgate in style.

Photo courtesy of What’s Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn

For the Foodie

Buffalo knows food. We have tons of gifts for chefs, foodies, and dessert lovers. Get your foodie a locally made ceramic mug or bowl from Thin Ice to hold all of their delicious creations. Hand select some spices for their cooking ventures from Penzey’s Spices. Get a bag of locally roasted beans for the avid coffee drinker from one of our many local coffee shops such as Overwinter or Golden Cup Coffee. Grab some chocolates (we’re famous for our sponge candy!) from Watson’s, Blue Table, Park Edge, the Sweet Whisk, or Nikki’s Chocolates. Someone with a sweet tooth would love the deliciously flavored cupcakes from Cake Crazy Bakery or the immaculate French pastries from Butter Block. For a salty snack, you can stop into House of Olives on Hertel Ave or get your foodie bags of variously flavored popcorn from What’s Pop-in Gourmet Popcorn – and you can even make a custom personalized order just for them! If you’re just not sure where to start, wander around Premier Gourmet – a hub for all sorts of gourmet snacks and gifts from wine to cheese to condiments! With so many chefs doing incredible things at our local restaurants, a gift card to a special spot in Buffalo is always a good idea. And since Buffalo is home of the wings, we’d be remiss not to remind you that many of our local wing spots bottle their famous sauces – it never hurts to have some traditional sauce from the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of wings!

For the Youth (and those with youthful spirits)

Stores like Clayton’s Toys or Bloomsbury Toy Shoppe are great options when it comes to finding toys for children, but there are other youthful gifts to give in Buffalo, too! Vidler’s 5 & 10 in East Aurora is full of games and toys that aren’t just for kids – adults will love them, too. The shelves are packed with nostalgic board games and jokes dating back over 50 years. Speaking of games, if you’re on the hunt for a new game, Gather & Game is a store dedicated to them! And if the youth in your life have all of the toys they could want, a visit to Buffalo’s children museum, Explore & More, a round of laser tag at LASERTRON or hours of jumping at Get Air Trampoline Park will give them a full day of fun!

Photo courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House

For the Museum-Goer

Buffalo is home to many impressive museums, and if the person on your shopping list is an avid museum-goer, we have just the gifts for them. For art and architecture lovers, the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House and the Graycliff Estate have fantastic gift/museum shops full of one-of-a-kind merchandise. Think about your museum-goers’ interests and be sure to check out the gift shops of other local museums such as the Buffalo History Museum and the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum. Better yet? Plan a visit to one of these spots and let your museum-goer roam free!

Shira Jacobson headshot

Shira Jacobson

Originally from NYC, I moved to Buffalo knowing very little about this city and fell in love with it in a way I never anticipated. Now, all I want to do is spread that Buffalove to others.